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Thread: Run app that´s designed both for windows and DOS

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    Run app that´s designed both for windows and DOS

    I wanted to execute old CD menu app that contains good old DOS games. DosBox says that it requieres Microsoft Windows (it´s designed for windows 95,98, but I think that it should work also on win3.11) and therefore it´s not exactly for DOS. Installing virtual win3.11 - hmm, I don´t want that. It´s possible to install windows 3.11 directly to dosbox and execute app from this environment, but if there´re more compact ways, I´d be glad. File alongside with printscreen is attached.

    Thanks.
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    Member JamesWasil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompressMaster View Post
    I wanted to execute old CD menu app that contains good old DOS games. DosBox says that it requieres Microsoft Windows (it´s designed for windows 95,98, but I think that it should work also on win3.11) and therefore it´s not exactly for DOS. Installing virtual win3.11 - hmm, I don´t want that. It´s possible to install windows 3.11 directly to dosbox and execute app from this environment, but if there´re more compact ways, I´d be glad. File alongside with printscreen is attached.

    Thanks.

    Unfortunately, you'll either have to use a virtual windows 3.11 image via virtualbox, vmware, or install it to dosbox to run it.

    I still have the EXE header format from the Microsoft tech sheet from years ago for the modified exes, and basically the Windows EXE is a stub loader. It looks to see if Windows is running, and if not it executes a small code segment that says "This requires Microsoft Windows to run" or similar, and exits. If Windows is running, then it jumps to the rest of the exe and runs the binary making API calls and other things with GDI and the windows environment.

    The only way to get that to run on DOS, would be to create a virtual environment that emulates Windows enough over DOS to execute it. Basically, a version of WINE for DOS or FreeDos, and a TSR that captures the exec call from the stub loader, and redirects it to the environment to run (that, or make the virtual environment in DOS say that it is windows when it isn't, and then forward all the calls from the windows EXE to that wine-like DOS environment to get it to run as a standalone exe)



    Short answer: Programs written for Windows only have a <1k EXE stub that says it needs windows. The program itself only runs when windows (or what emulates windows?) is present.

    This is probably one of the finishing touches that FreeDos still needs imo, but I'm not sure if we'll ever see it, even though it's entirely possible, since Windows 3.1 and before ran over DOS as a shell rather than an operating system (as did Windows 95 and 9. NT was/is a separate kernel, but you could probably make an NTVDM emulator that runs NT based EXEs as well over 16 bit DOS environments with a little effort.

  3. Thanks:

    CompressMaster (4th December 2019)

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    Administrator Shelwien's Avatar
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    You don't really need to "install" windows - up to WinME its just a normal DOS program,
    so its possible to copy already installed files and just run the kernel as dos .exe.

    I'm attaching here my realmode win3 kit - NE file to run is configured in system.ini "shell=" line, and you have to run dosx.exe to start it.
    It runs, but I didn't manage to make it fully work since it seems to be a VB3 program, so there're lots of dependencies (dlls etc).
    I tried to find some based on error messages, but it doesn't like "MCI.VBX" that I found.

    Also I think its related to this site: http://www.superhry.cz/temata/retro-hry
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    CompressMaster (4th December 2019),JamesWasil (1st December 2019)

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    KZo


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    Shelwien (4th December 2019)

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    @Shelwien
    it does not work properly. I tried many versions of that file (including uncorrupted original from corrupted CD), but it does not work - same error.

    Quote Originally Posted by kaitz View Post
    Could I request you for compiling that? I have found some of these approached prior, but I have only VS 2010. Thanks a lot.

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    Administrator Shelwien's Avatar
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    As I said, its not a single files, there're dependencies (vbrun300.dll etc)

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